As Glenn Beck prepares to depart Fox News this evening for the friendlier confines of Texas and Web TV, we've assembled an A-to-Z guide to the key terms from his 27 months at the cable news network. For a man so many people have yelled at, laughed at and watched cry, it's a trip down memory lane.
ACORN: Defunct association of community organizers that Beck suspected of plotting to kill him in 2009. "If I'm ever in a weird car accident, or I commit suicide or something, after the media stops celebrating my death, could they check into it?" he instructed viewers. "Because I'm not suicidal. And I'm a pretty good driver."
Blackboard: Beck's much beloved prop and teaching tool. Typically covered with lines connecting seemingly unconnected names and concepts back to each other, and sometimes George Soros.
Blaze, The: Conservative news and opinion Web site that Beck launched in August 2010. Not the same thing as GBTV, his Web television service.
Chicago: Home of Barack Obama calls home and birthplace of the "Chicago Way" of politics that Beck despises. Discussions of the city were frequently followed by a clip from Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, which is set in the 1920s.
"Crime Inc.": Beck's name for the liberal cabal that's plotting a takeover of America. Notably members include Al Gore, Barack Obama, John Podesta, former SEIU president Andy Stern, and Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein. According to Beck, Goldman Sachs and Fannie Mae are in the plot along with Big Labor, non-profits, and think tanks like the Center for American Progress.
"Diabetic Mallwalkers": Bill Maher's description of Beck's target audience.
Europe: A continent Beck wants nothing to do with, and gets upset about when the president goes there. He also finds the accents rather comical.
"Fear chamber": Fox News colleague Shepherd Smith's pet name for Beck's studio. Smith wasn't a Beck fan, a fact he made clear on live television in 2009.
Frog: Amphibian Beck pretended to boil on television, to illustrate how President Obama has treated America.
Gold: Precious metal that Beck's audience was frequently told to buy, both by paid advertisements and the host himself.
"Hope 101": Course offering at Beck's unaccredited online university that launched last summer, the appropriately named Beck University. Other intro level courses include Charity 101 and Faith 101.
Islam: Religion, one Beck believes has been infiltrated by communists.
Jones, Van: President Obama's short-lived "Green Jobs czar" and frequent Beck target. Beck was widely credited with forcing his September 2009 resignation.
"Hey let's kill Obama": Beck's most unfortunate slip of the tongue came in May, when he fell victim to the Osama/Obama slip of the tongue.
Libertarian: Beck claims he's becoming more of one every day. Alex Jones at Info Wars disagrees, arguing he's always going to be a neocon at heart.
Massa, Eric: Former Democratic congressman from New York whom Beck interviewed for an hour last March about allegations he groped a male staffer. Afterwards, Beck turned to the camera and said, "America, I think I've wasted your time."
Network: Beck frequently compares himself to Howard Beale, the renegade newscaster played by Peter Finch in Sidney Lumet's 1976 film, but has trouble remembering the details of the film's most iconic scene. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Beck referenced "the moment when he was in the raincoat, where he figures everything out, and he’s like, ‘Whoa, whoa, wait a minute! Why the hell aren’t you up at the window shouting outside?’” The actual line went more like this:
Overton Window, The: Political thriller written by Beck last year. It reached number one on the New York Times best seller list for fiction, but Beck insists the book, which features a terrorist ring led by someone named Elmer, is actually 'faction'--fiction based on fact.
Parody: Beck's careening screen persona and kooky worldview made him an easy target for late-night comics and the blogosphere. Nobody did this better than Jon Stewart, whose ten-minute Daily Show cold opening last March was the Tree of Life of Beck parodies, by virtue of its sheer ambition. A brief snippet:
Quigley, Carroll: Deceased Georgetown professor who wrote extensively about secret societies his books The Anglo-American Establishment and Tragedy and Hope. Mentioned by name in The Overton Window when a character observes that Quigley "laid open the plan in Tragedy and Hope, the only hope to avoid the tragedy of war was to bind together the economies of the world to foster global stability and peace."
Republicans: American political party that Beck also isn't crazy about. "I hate them," he said yesterday in a segment for GBTV, his Web TV venture. "I think they are as much of a problem as the other side."
Soros, George: Beck blamed the Greek billionaire and liberal activist for the majority of the world's ills, real and imagined. These connections were detailed in a multi-night investigation called "Puppetmaster".
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark: Troubled, critically-maligned musical that Beck saw and adored this past January. He raved on live radio, "This is Phantom of the 21 century!"
Train tracks: Hinge of Beck's most complicated metaphor and detailed chalkboard illustration.
Twitter: Social networking site that Beck joined in May 2009. His first seven tweets are classics, particularly striking when read sequentially.
U.S. Federal Reserve: America's central banking system, believed by Beck guest Andrew Napolitano to be the "main cancer" on the American economy.
Vegetables: Type of food Michelle Obama wants Americans to eat more of, which offends the salty-snack loving Beck. "Get away from my french fries, Mrs. Obama," Beck told the crowd at the Right Nations conference last September in Chicago. "First politician that comes up to me with a carrot stick, I've got a place for it. And it's not in my tummy."
Wilson, Woodrow: 28th President of the United States and noted liberal institutionalist that Beck "hate[s]...with everything in [him]."
Xenophobia: The "hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture." Beck feels this way about the United Nations.
Youth: The reason Beck is leaving Fox. Specifically, he wants to reach them. "One of the reasons why I'm leaving Fox is to target the youth, to make sure that we go for the youth...I've got to find a way to go to the youth," he said during a Q&A on the show last month.
Zaitchik, Alexander: Author of the 2009 Beck biography Common Nonsense. Of the opinion everything Beck does is driven by money.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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